We can learn alot from the experiences of Paul. God has given His precious promises to us, too. Some are promises for all people for all times, while others may be only for certain people of a certain time in history. But we can be sure that just as God fulfilled all of His purposes and promises in Paul’s life, so He will keep His promises and work His purposes in and through us. Sometimes these promises are answered in ways we would never have imagined!
From a human standpoint, one could look at the events of Paul’s arrest and numerous trials as a “comedy of errors.” These things have taken place out of sheer ignorance or prejudice (the accusation that Paul sought to desecrate the temple), out of desire to do one’s job well (Claudius Lysias), out of sinful self-interest (Felix, and also the Jewish leaders), and out of ignorance (Festus). But as our chapter unfolds, Paul is given the opportunity to proclaim his faith, apart from the constraints of a courtroom, where one’s testimony is always limited to what the court desires, and where the opposition of the Jews is absent. And while Paul’s audience begins with only Festus, it continues to grow throughout the chapter (by what seems to be a coincidental dropping in of Agrippa and Bernice) until an auditorium of celebrities is gathered to hear the gospel.
The point I am trying to make is simply this: THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY OFTEN COME DRESSED IN THE FORM OF FAILURE OR OF FRUSTRATING CIRCUMSTANCES, WHERE WE SEEM TO BE LIMITED. It is not until the end of chapter 26 that we begin to see how the hand of God has been behind all of the frustrating events of Paul’s life over the past two years, in order to give him the opportunity of a lifetime, to proclaim the gospel to people who he would never have encountered in the normal course of events, or even as a result of his finest efforts. Paul did not plan these events, nor was his the prime mover in bringing them to pass. Neither was any other person. God was a work here, causing all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28), for the proclamation and advancement of the gospel.